Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States and the United Kingdom Concerning the Shipment of Supplies to Liberated European Countries During the First Six Months of 1945

Memorandum of Agreement

The following represents the agreed views of the respective United States and United Kingdom authorities concerning the shipment of supplies to liberated European countries during the first six months of 1945;

1. The Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force has signified his willingness to allocate to the French Provisional Government and to the Belgian Government certain port facilities and inland clearance for national government import programs separate from and additional to military programs.

2. A four-party committee consisting of representatives of the French Provisional Government, the United States and the United Kingdom Governments and Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force has reviewed and recommended an import program put forward by the French Provisional Government. It is expected that the import program of the Belgian Government will be recommended through a similar procedure in the near future.

3. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration has submitted a program for Italy. The Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean has endorsed it provided that its implementation [Page 421]does not affect his ability to meet his operational and basic civil affairs requirements.

4. It is expected that in due course import programs will be put forward in a similar manner for other liberated European countries by their governments or by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration on their behalf.

5. The French import program and the other import programs when received are endorsed for planning purposes and the United States and United Kingdom agencies concerned should as necessary facilitate, through the established procedures, procurement against these programs so that supplies will be readily available for shipment.

6. Subject to military necessity, ships are to be allocated against these programs for January, February and March loading from North America as follows:

January February March
Total. MWT. WSA. Total. MWT. WSA. Total. MWT. WSA.
France 6 10 10
Belgium 1 2 2
Total 7 13 13

7. There is attached a Table showing for the period January through June 1945 the overall shipping deficiency. The deficit cannot be met by minor adjustments and calls for decision at the coming conference of heads of Governments In the meantime the responsible United States and United Kingdom civilian and military authorities should consider what recommendations they can make to the coming conference of the heads of Governments to reduce the deficit either by downward adjustment of programs or more effective use of shipping.

8. Pending the final decision the allocations referred to in Paragraph 6 are not to be reduced except in the face of military necessity and not without prior discussion with Mr. Harry Hopkins. The appropriate agencies should be notified accordingly.

9. The theater commander, the Allied governments, the combined Boards and the departments and agencies concerned of the United States and United Kingdom Governments are to be notified of the action agreed under paragraphs 5 and 6.

10. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to alter any present procedures whereby the availability of shipping tonnage shall be determined by the appropriate shipping authorities after clearance with the appropriate Chiefs of Staff. It is also understood that the determination of port and inland clearance capacity shall be certified by the theater commander.

H[arry] H[opkins] by D[ean] A[cheson ]
R[ichard] L[aw]
[Page 422]

Combined Shipping Deficiencies

Feb. Mar. Apr. May June
British Ministry of War Transport (BMWT) . 30 45 50 50 50
War Shipping Administration (WSA) . . . . 43 36 40 49 37
Combined 73 81 90 99 87
War Shipping Administration 35 51 45 72 56
Total 108 132 135 171 143